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News in the Humanosphere: Ebola makes a comeback in Sierra Leone

A burial team in protective gear bury the body of a woman suspected to have died from Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia.

Health authorities in Sierra Leone said Tuesday they had quarantined almost 700 people as they battled to contain a new outbreak of Ebola which killed a 16-year-old girl. The teenager died Sunday in a rural suburb of the city of Makeni, in a northern province that had not recorded a single case of the deadly virus in nearly six months.(AFP

Quote of the Day: Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, on his country’s decision to block a set of UN sanctions on belligerents in South Sudan. The measures were supposed to go in effect yesterday at 3PM.  “The United States, very often they just say ‘sanctions, sanctions, sanctions’ and in some cases it severely aggravates the situation.” (ABC

Whoops…Zimbabwe’s 91-year-old President Robert Mugabe read out the wrong speech at the opening of parliament on Tuesday, an error which the main opposition quickly used to question whether Africa’s oldest leader was still of a sound mind. (Reuters

None shall pass! Hungary’s right-wing government shut the main land route for migrants into the EU on Tuesday, taking matters into its own hands to halt Europe’s influx of refugees. (Reuters

A former staff member of the Norwegian Refugee Council is suing the agency, claiming gross negligence and failure in duty of care after he was kidnapped and shot in Dadaab, Kenya. (Guardian


A riot broke out during a protest in Congo’s capital on Tuesday against what opponents say are President Joseph Kabila’s plans to cling to power after his constitutional mandate ends in 2016. (Reuters

South Sudan’s president urged his people on Tuesday to “join hands” in implementing a peace deal to end more than 20 months of conflict, after repeated outbreaks of fighting since rebels and the government signed the pact last month. (Reuters

Kenya began legal action on Tuesday to try to halt a teachers’ strike over pay that is running into its third week, local media reported. (Reuters

Hundreds of Ethiopian rebels have fled their base in Eritrea and surrendered to authorities, handing over their weapons, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Kenya has announced a second $150 million project to expand its electricity grid to connect another 1.5 million people, with the head of its sole power distributor saying the country was in talks with the African Development Bank to help finance it. (Reuters

Land degradation, such as a spread of deserts in parts of Africa, costs the world economy trillions of dollars a year and may drive tens of millions of people from their homes, a U.N.-backed study said on Tuesday. (Reuters


Dozens of Lebanese activists held a protest on Tuesday outside a Finance Ministry building in the country’s capital, after failing to storm it — part of a recent series of anti-government rallies stemming from a trash collection crisis. (AP

The numbers of Syrian refugees in Iraq and Lebanon fell in August, while the number in Turkey has risen to almost 2 million and asylum applications in Europe have leapt, the U.N. refugee agency said. (Reuters


The scuttling of a draft constitution in Thailand this month has prolonged military rule and cast further doubts on the former army chief’s professed allergy to high office. (Reuters

Food distribution in North Korea has dropped to dangerous levels, according to a United Nation’s food agency. (VOA

Thailand’s military government on Tuesday freed a journalist and two politicians who were detained for defying orders against criticizing its rule. (AP

New Delhi’s government ordered Monday 1,000 extra beds in hospitals to treat dengue patients, as the Indian capital reels from the worst outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease in five years. (AFP

India and Sri Lanka are emphasizing their commitment to deepen ties during the Sri Lankan prime minister’s visit to New Delhi. In the Indian capital, relations between the two countries have received a huge boost following the electoral defeat of Sri Lanka’s former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was closer to China. (VOA

The Americas

Brazil announces $7bn of spending cuts and the return of an unpopular financial transactions tax to try to plug a huge black hole in the budget. (BBC

Guatemalan presidential candidate Manuel Baldizon quit his political party and dropped out of the race, leaving a television comedian and former first lady to vie in the runoff to be the country’s next president. (AP

The United Nations urged Venezuela to prevent human rights abuses of Colombians being deported from the country, including the separation of children from their parents, in a simmering border crisis between the two neighbors. (VOA

Norway will make a final $100-million payment to Brazil this year to complete a $1-billion project that rewards a slowdown in forest loss in the Amazon basin, Norway’s Environment Ministry said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Eight people were killed and five were listed as missing after flash floods struck a town in the western state of Utah overnight, state officials said early Tuesday. (AP

...and the rest

The United Nations said on Tuesday it was “deeply disappointed” at the failure of European Union ministers to reach a final consensus on a plan to share the relocation of 120,000 refugees. (Reuters

Computers do not noticeably improve school pupils’ academic results and can even hamper performance, an OECD report said Tuesday that looked at the impact of technology in classrooms across the globe. (AFP

A total of 4,537 asylum seekers reached Germany by train on Monday despite the imposition of new controls at the border with Austria, the federal police said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Climate models suggest the 2015 El Nino will peak around the end of the year and will then rapidly weaken within three months, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Land degradation is costing the world as much as $10.6tn every year, equivalent to 17% of global gross domestic product, a report has warned. (Guardian


Op-Ed response to the haters: Why we still need microfinance (Humanosphere

Global Dispatches Podcast: Elmira Bayrasli is the author of the new book From the Other Side of the World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places and she is also the co-founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted.

Secret aid worker: we need to listen to humans, not follow programmes (Guardian

Calling George Clooney: Here’s a role with a social scientist as the action hero! (Monkey Cage

Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction. Book review of handy new bluffer’s guide (From Poverty to Power

“We move forward not backwards” (Cherokee Gothic

The overlooked tool in efforts to prevent conflict (Devex

New film levels old criticisms at the aid industry (How Matters

No End in Sight for Syria War (VOA

Chile’s Amnesty Law keeps Pinochet’s legacy alive (IPS

Sex workers’ rights: mapping policy around the world (Guardian


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]